Q: If the religions institutions and Masters give us practical knowledge which can be implemented in our day to day lives, just like how you have given us, then people would cultivate better understanding, and experience change in their lives. I think, if this could be made possible, then most of the problems that society is facing today will disappear.
I do Sudarshan Kriya and I follow you, but I have respect for all other Masters and religious traditions. I go to temples and I go to mosques as well.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Very good! That is indeed how it should be.
Misleading people by coaxing them to go to temples, or forcing them to offer Namaz is no good. What people need is to experience spirituality; to experience that there is only one God. We are all children of One God and we must spread the love that we have and not hatred.
This is what I have repeatedly been telling the people of Pakistan also. The people there are so nice. Just today I had a talk with them. We have three of our centres running there. People have experienced such happiness after doing the Sudarshan Kriya. All their sorrow and misery has been washed away. Also, there are so many people who share that they met me in their dreams!
Now Pakistan is our neighbouring country, but even if you go Iran, there also people have similar experiences.
Do you know, we have around 60 to 65 of our Art of Living teachers working there, in Iran. The environment there is very rigid and strict, they do not allow the practice of Yoga there. But when the religious police saw my pictures in the homes of our teachers there who also happen to be Muslims, then they said, ‘Oh, Gurudev looks like our grandsire, from whom we have learnt everything! He resembles our own spiritual leader who has educated and initiated us.' So they too did not object to our work there and simply allowed it to happen without any hassles.
So many youths are attending The Art of Living workshops there, and they have come back saying, ‘Oh, we have really been missing something big in life! If we had had such experiences much earlier in our lives, today we would have been far happier and prosperous. Conflicts and fights between neighbours would have come to an end, for good. All hatred would have ended.'
There are some religious leaders, pontiffs and heads, not only Muslims, but Hindus as well, who do not want to let this transformation happen. These leaders fear that they would have to shut their business if people go for such experiences.
Yes, it is true!
Among the Hindus too there are some spiritual leaders who actually criticize the Sudarshan Kriya and mislead people by comparing the effects of it to drugs like Opium. They forbid others to go for Art of Living altogether.
Similarly, the Imams (religious leaders among the Muslims) among the Muslims forbid their people to learn or attend the Art of Living courses by telling them that it is practiced by members of another religion. They tell them that you will be misled and deceived in The Art of Living.
We have to tackle and fight against such people who hinder and obstruct the progress and upliftment of an individual.
Those people who obstruct or prohibit learning of such practices or knowledge that can bring such happiness and fulfilment to people are the ones who need to be tackled. They are not doing the right thing, and need to be stopped.
Do not be misled into thinking that such things are happening only among the Muslims or the Christians alone. Even some religious Hindu leaders are also doing the very same thing. This is sheer ignorance. In the Art of Living, we offer our love generously to everybody and pray to God to grant such people a pure and righteous intellect.